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Promoting the Realization of Freedom of Religion or Belief in Southeast Asia: A press briefing by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

1 Oct 2015 | Special Meeting | Thailand | CSO Event

7:30pm, Thursday 1 October, 2015
Free Admission

This is not an FCCT-sponsored event. It is a paid function and responsibility for program content is solely that of the event organizer

Across Southeast Asia, recent examples have shown how the right to freedom of religion or belief is increasingly denied and under threat. In some instances, it is the regressive and discriminatory legislation that aims to protect particular groups or to tightly control religion. While in other cases, it is the extreme interpretation of religion or belief, and the targeting of minority populations and religious sects. The denial of this basic right has reportedly taken severe forms that result in death, disappearance, long prison sentences, or in the flight of thousands across borders by land and sea.

In these cases, it is the religious minorities that have disproportionately been affected and should such problematic legislation, policies or extreme interpretations continue to be used, it is believed that this could further perpetuate the climate of religious intolerance in the region. The issue of freedom of religion in Southeast Asia is of critical importance yet it is far too rarely discussed.

Join the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, for an informative overview on the current status of freedom of religion or belief in Southeast Asia and how we could work towards the fuller realization of this right in the region.

Media contacts in Bangkok:

• Leong Tsu Quin, Associate International Legal Adviser of International Commission of Jurists, email: quin.leong@icj.org or tel. no.: +6681 134 0481
• Ian Stuart, Operations and Partnership Coordinator of BPSOS, email: ian.stuart@bpsos.org or tel no.: +66 2 116 0405
• Betty Yolanda, Country Programme Manager of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), email: betty@forum-asia.org or tel. no.: +66 2 637 9126 ext. 303